The history of civilization is the history of the struggle for human rights. Basic in this struggle is free communication on equal conditions. Progress in the facilities for such communication has made the United States postal service a democratic institution.
—Daniel C. Roper, First Assistant Postmaster General, 1917
Machines Move the Mail
In some big cities, city post offices were designed as factories behind an elegant façade. Inside, buckets and conveyor belts moved the mail through the system. Canceling machines marked the postage stamps.
Automobiles joined ships, trains, streetcars, and pneumatic tubes as machines that moved the mail. As the machinery of the postal system changed, it still connected families and businesses around the world.